Though its title is one only a bureaucrat could love, the new Economic Analysis of California’s Climate Change Scoping Plan is chock full of reassuring conclusions about how implementation of AB32 (California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) will affect the economy.
Quick refresher: AB32 calls for California to reduce its emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. It will achieve this feat through a combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and land use policies, and a regional cap-and-trade program.
The Air Resource Board reckons that, if all of the mandated carbon-reduction measures are implemented, California’s economy will continue to grow by 2.4% a year, the same rate it would grow without AB32. And get this: Implementing AB32 will reduce our fuel costs by 4.9% by 2020 (because we’ll be using less fossil fuels)-this should come as welcome new to anyone who remembers Enron or the sky high oil prices during the summer of 2008 (and to anyone who suffers asthma or other respiratory illnesses made worse by car exhaust and power plant pollution).
Here’s some more good news: Small businesses (which employ 54% of the state’s workforce) will not bear the burden of AB32 regulation and will suffer negligible net job loss. Some types of small business (namely energy efficiency and alternative energy) are expected to grow. We hope to be one of them.